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Dive into the breathtaking silence of the endless desert pampas! Be amazed by the wild nature and wildlife and guide your horse through the spectacular dunes of sand, hills and impressive salt lakes, and wonderful canyons along the San Pedro River. Gallop to the sunset and get a touch of culture by visiting the vestiges and local villages of the Atacameños where time stood still. Enjoy the local cuisine, relax, and share stories with the guides. And last but not least, enjoy a well-deserved rest under the overwhelming beauty of the most starry sky you've ever seen!
You will be spending five nights in comfortable rooms at a lodge in San Pedro.
The lodge is powered by solar energy and has 9 single, double and some triple rooms, a beautiful 1.5 ha park with BBQ area, fire, taco, cable TV, set of bowls, hammocks, swimming pool, pergola and ping pong.
All accommodations are quoted per person based on sharing a double room; for a single room, there is an additional charge.
San Pedro de Atacama, between the desert and the altiplano, is one of the destinations that involves mystery and amazement. Let yourself be surprised by the different and impressive landscapes, surrealistic, and almost taken-from-a-science-fiction-book. On this equestrian holiday, Andes Riding will take you to one of the most memorable destinations in South America, San Pedro in the Atacama desert.
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in northern Chile which covers a thousand kilometers of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountain range. It's the non-polar desert; even today, it is the home of the descendants of the Incas, the Atacameños.
Its picturesque desert towns will surprise you with their wild west aspect, their atmosphere in which "time has stopped ", and for its impressive surroundings. Here, you will find yourself galloping in one of the most beautiful landscapes, spectacular and dramatic! The adventure begins in the south of San Pedro de Atacama, in the Ayllu (indigenous community) of Séquitor, which will be the base camp to visit the most emblematic!
After the first night at the lodge and having made a visit to the town center, it is time for you to ride your Chilean Creole horse and prepare for a week of riding with the guides to a magna adventure. On average, you will be mounted for 6 to 8 hours per day and during the expedition, it will be possible to sight Flamingos, Llamas, Vicuñas, and Condores.
You will ride to the town that started the culture of Atacameña, take deserved baths in a highland lagoon, visit the Valley of the Moon, the Valley of the Death, and the Catarpe Valley, and you will visit the town of San Pedro de Atacama, characterized by its beautiful adobe buildings.
After each ride, return to the lodge and share the exciting stories of what happened during the day, accompanied by Chilean wine or pisco on the table during dinner and who knows, maybe later around a campfire. It will be a week you will never forget! Get ready so that from now on, Chile and Atacama will be a living memory of a flame that will never go out!
The first meeting will be with the guide who will wait for you at the airport with the transfer to take you to the lodge in the Ayllu of Séquitor. After checking in and settling in your room, it will be time for a welcome cocktail to get to know each other, then you will have a brief exploratory horse ride in the Ayllu to get in tune with the horses and to get a feeling for this great oasis. Return to the lodge and then head to the center of the town of San Pedro and tour its magical streets before going to dinner at a restaurant.
After a hearty breakfast, the ride will begin with an archaeological tour on horseback to the ruins of Beter, the first colonial town built by the Spanish. You will have a beautiful perspective of this ancient town that is partially covered by sand dunes. Its constructions were preserved, thanks to those same dunes which also contributed to its destruction; there, you can still find old ceramics hidden in the sand.
Continue your horseback ride to the ruins of Tulor, populated by the sand and the wind. This ancient Atacamenian village dates back to more than 3000 years and was inhabited in its time by about 200 people. Today, thanks to a research project, it can be visited as a real museum.
They have reproduced the original houses built with the same materials as centuries ago (with adobe and wooden ceilings). You can also enjoy the viewpoint in height and the museum of the site. In the afternoon, return to the lodge and enjoy the swimming pool and dinner.
After breakfast, ride and cross the Ayllu (oasis) of Sequitor towards the South and the Salar de Atacama. This salt flat is the largest in Chile with a surface area of over 3,000 kilometers squared. Under the salt flat, there are lakes hidden by a thick crust of white salt equal to snow. This crust, in some places, has opened up to let small lakes appear that are a favorite habitat for water birds, particularly flamingos, ducks, and Andean gulls.
The salt in the salt flats comes from the dissolution of the salts from the ground by rainwater, snowmelt, and rivers that are dragged into the salt flats; then, the water evaporates and the salts added to it accumulate. Arrive at one of the lagoons called Cejar and located about 30 kilometers from San Pedro and at an altitude of 2300 meters.
The Cejar lakes are an intense turquoise color with edges crystallized by the salt. After crossing sandy roads and a completely deserted landscape, these turquoise lagoons appear as miracles. You will have time to rest and to take little snacks and baths according to the season and your taste. The water has a 40% salt concentration, which is superior to that of the Dead Sea and will allow you to literally float, producing great relaxation. After that moment of rest spent by the side of the lagoons, quietly return by horse to the lodge.
Have breakfast at the lodge and then go to the horses to start your adventure towards the Valley of the Moon, one of the unmissable attractions with its rare stone and salt formations. It is hidden in the middle of the Salt Mountain Range, 15 kilometers southwest of San Pedro de Atacama.
You have left the ranch and crossed a beautiful part of the desert to reach the Cordillera de la Sal. Climb a large dune to enter a path that can only be passed by horse or on foot. Pass in total tranquillity or a little faster if you like; the impressive nature formed by wind and water erosion will make you feel like you're on another planet or on the moon.
In the center of the valley comes the time to rest for a moment and to take pictures of this impressive place. On the way back, pass through a spectacular canyon and return to the lodge for dinner.
The last day of the ride, this is one of the most spectacular rides because of the variety of landscapes in which you can see rivers, vegetation, large dunes, streams, and a complete panorama of all that is the valley of San Pedro de Atacama (Andean depression) and its surroundings.
After having crossed the Catarpe Valley, enter the mysterious gorge of Diablo and go up to the cornice by the passage of the bulls, an old road that communicated San Pedro with Calama. On the way back, go down the Valley of Death and its immense dunes to return to the lodge. Have your final dinner at a restaurant in San Pedro.
After breakfast and checking-out, you will be transferred to the airport.
This trip is classified as intermediate to advanced riding level. It is not necessary to be an expert rider, but it is essential to have a good taste for the outdoors and a good skill for Dressage (have confidence when walking, jogging, and galloping). However, the members of the group should be aware that the weather is changing with the occasional storm of summer and small snowstorms are quite common in these high mountains.
José Tomás was born in a mountaineer family and has been in contact with nature his whole life. His passions are horses and mountains so it is very usual to see him climbing summits or just relaxing on a riding day with some friends. He is licensed in ecotourism with an Ecotourism Management Degree from UNAB, Chile. He also has a qualification as a Wilderness First Responder and a trekking and horseback riding guide with more than 15 years in the tourism industry.
Tourism entrepreneur, mountain guide, teacher, and a ride guide, he is a pioneer in nature tourism and horseback riding routes in Chile, such as “The Crossing of the Andes”. Marcos has endeavored to teach and promote horseriding culture in universities and tourism schools in foreign and domestic tourism. He is one of the drivers of Andes Riding.
The base camp will be a beautiful and pleasant lodge located in the indigenous community of Séquitor, in the southern sector of San Pedro de Atacama, a characteristic village known for its orchards and crops and architecture and adobe walls.
Daily full board meals and a welcome cocktail are included in the package, from a boxed lunch on the first day to the breakfast on the last day. Lunches on the riding days is a boxed lunch en route.
El Loa Airport
Please arrange your flight to arrive at El Loa Airport (CJC). Transfers are included in the package, Andes Riding will pick you up from the airport; it is located in the city of Calama and you will be privately transported.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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